10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to rise, you may be on the lookout for strategies to scale back your usage and save money. Although big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-performance HVAC systems can help make your home more energy efficient, you can cut energy costs today with little to no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that.

1. Replace Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter each month and change it when it looks dirty, or every three months, whichever occurs first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by promoting efficiency, providing proper airflow, and keeping the HVAC equipment from getting too hot. Your home will quickly feel more comfortable and have cleaner indoor air with a clean filter in place.

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings

Maintain the temperature at 70 degrees or lower through the winter and increase it to 77 degrees or higher in the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable.

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. This kind of thermostat pays for itself quickly thanks to energy savings by enabling you to program setback periods while you’re away from home or sleeping. Automatic temperature recovery means you save money without ever feeling uncomfortable. Look for a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save.

4. Implement Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. For starters, it pays you back by lowering your energy bills. After all, a well-maintained HVAC system runs more efficiently than one that’s left alone. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the associated repair costs. In addition, your equipment is more likely to last a few years longer when you keep up with maintenance today.

5. Uncover and Fix Air Leaks

Air leaks can develop wherever a couple of building materials are found. Locate and seal up these leaks to keep your home comfortable and minimize the strain on your HVAC system. Here are a couple of tips:

    • Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.
    • Re-caulk stationary cracks around windows and doors to seal out air leaks.
    • Add expanding spray foam near wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in the walls, ceilings and floors.
    • Shut the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit.

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Benefit

Through the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Shutting reflective curtains over the windows during the afternoon is a convenient way to accomplish this. If your budget has room, you could also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By choosing deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still helping the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter.

7. Manage Your Water Use

Conserve this key resource and reduce your water bills with these tips:

    • Take short showers instead of long baths.
    • Put in low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets.
    • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth.
    • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible.

8. Unplug Electronics

Plug computers, printers, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other electronics into power strips. This way, you can turn them off with the flip of a switch when not in use. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to avoid small amounts of “phantom” energy usage.

9. Replace Your Light Bulbs

Do you still use old incandescent bulbs at home? Swap them out with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease as LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the energy hogs of the home. Conserve energy with the following tips:

    • Shut windows and doors when running the furnace or air conditioner.
    • Lower the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket.
    • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
    • Switch off the heated-dry feature on your dishwasher.
    • Hang your clothes outside to dry when the weather is warm.
    • Reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or stove, particularly on summer afternoons.
    • If the utility provider charges more for electricity during “peak times,” try to use your appliances during low-peak periods.

Get Help Reducing Home Energy Costs

Many cost-cutting measures relate directly to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help applying these tips, reach out to Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair work, alongside cost-effective installation and replacement services. In addition, with financing options available, even big upgrades will fit your budget. For more details about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today.

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